Dying Light

In a world where games like Left for Dead 3 leave avid fans thirsting for the latest and greatest zombie adventure, it’s painful to wait. Valve can’t seem to count to 3.

Fortunately, every once in a while, smart companies like Techland are picking up the slack where the most popular franchises are dropping the ball. Dying Light is a perfect example of one of those games.

Set in a mysterious city that has been quarantined because of a rampant zombie infection, Dying Light has a little bit of something for everybody. There’s blood, zombies, conspiracies, mystery, free running and climbing skills that Ezio Auditore would be envious of and even some solid multiplayer action.

If you are a fan of games like Left 4 Dead, this game picks up the zombie adventure franchise right where they left off.

So What is Dying Light?

It’s hard to nail Dying Light into one category or another. It’s part shooter, part role-playing game and even has a few platformer elements. It’s set in a vast, open-ended world where your actions determine a lot about the overall story progression of the game.

The versatility of Dying Light is what makes it such a hit. You are not just shooting, running, hitting zombies and grabbing crap along the way. Your actions have a heavy influence on the game. At the same time, you are in an open world that’s waiting to be explored. You can enjoy the game at your own pace.

There are plenty of opportunities to sidetrack yourself with additional storylines. Say you’re running for an objective but you hear a little girl screaming in a house. Do you stop and help her or do you continue pushing to complete your mission?

Little decisions like this add value to an already rich game and your decisions influence the overall outcome of the game, making it much more interesting than your basic run of the mill zombie killing spree.

But don’t think for a SECOND that there aren’t plenty of zombies to kill. Because there are.

dying light

What’s the Storyline?

The game puts you in control of Kyle Crane, a mysterious operative set to investigate the quarantined city of Harran. The city has been attacked by a mysterious infection and your mission is to investigate and find the file of a rogue politician that has lead a group of bandits to take the region over.

Your decisions will be constantly split between helping the remaining survivors and actually tracking down the man who may have something to do with this ordeal, a villain named Kadir “Rais” Suleiman. Rais has gone rogue and stolen a sensitive file that he is using to blackmail your agency all while stealing relief supplied being airdropped into the city for survivors.

Your mission is to find him, take back the file and save whoever you can along the way.

Free Running!

If you are a fan of climbing mechanics in games like Assassin’s Creed, you’ll likely enjoy the game’s free running mechanics. Part of the challenge with Dying Light is surviving when waves of zombies are too tough to fight.

When this happens, free running and climbing is a great way to stay alive. The controls are pretty intuitive as far as knowing when and how to interact with walls, fences and objects as well as how to time jumps.

Remember, zombies can’t climb. This makes free running and climbing a highly essential survival mechanic and is your default response when shit goes down and you don’t have the firepower to take on everyone at once, which happens a fair bit.

What I Like About Dying Light

Dying Light has some tremendous advantages that made it worth the wait. The game was originally scheduled for 2014 but was pushed back to early 2015 and ended up being one of the most anticipated releases of this year.

Overall, I think it was worth the wait. Here are some of the better aspects of the game that made gamers happy this one was pushed back:

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[list_item]Amazing graphics. You can really see and feel the environment in a revolutionary way. This title takes next-gen consoles to their limit. PS4 and Xbox One players will pretty much be able to see every last gory detail as well as some spectacular environmental effects. As far as setting the stage for action, Techland does an amazing job.[/list_item]

[list_item]Intuitive controls and free running mechanics. With the first person angle, you are getting amazingly fluid control over your character. You can climb like a dang spider monkey and jump like a graceful gazelle over the heads of some hungry, dangerous zombies. This makes it a pleasure to play even when you’re running for your life.[/list_item]

[list_item]Day and night gameplay mechanics. Daylight feels very real and night time gets a lot harder and more intense to survive. This mechanic is a fun part of the game that makes your character feel always a little bit rushed. You are always trying to get as much ground covered as possible before night time, when it becomes much harder to track zombies and keep yourself safe.[/list_item]

[list_item]Intense multiplayer. The multiplayer consists of asymmetrical combat mechanics that require you to chase down an air drop. The best overall part of multiplayer is the cooperative play that allows up to 4 players to enjoy the game’s storyline at once. Bring a friend and enjoy the wicked zombie killing together![/list_item]

There’s a lot to love about Dying Light if you are a big fan of zombie killing!

dying light

Some Areas That Could Have Been Better…

Like most games, Dying Light isn’t perfect nor does anyone pretend it to be. I got a little bit frustrated at times while playing and couldn’t help but notice these problems that hopefully developers will work on in future updates or expansions.

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[list_item]Overly sensitive controls. At times, the free running features are way too sensitive. You get thrown into some crazy situations, and then suddenly you make one slightly wrong move with your controls and you jump to the wrong platform. Yikes. So the controls are really sensitive and at times too sensitive. I’ve died a few times because of this.[/list_item]

[list_item]It’s easy to get lost. I find it very frustrating at times to find where the heck I am in this crazy game. While for some people that might be part of an open world, I would appreciate just a little bit more guidance. I don’t like wandering about aimlessly. Anyways, this is something to consider in future releases.[/list_item]

The Verdict

Despite a few minor shortcomings, I’ve enjoyed playing this game. It’s worth a purchase if you enjoy cooperative games and survival horror. I can definitely see myself enjoying this one for some time to come. The graphics, parkour mechanics, storyline and multiplayer make it a solid buy.